CYCLING campaigners say they are disappointed by the decision to bar cyclists from Terry Avenue during flood defence works - but understand the need to put safety first.

Cyclists have raised concerns previously about the dangers they will face if they can’t use the route and have to take a diversion via the Millennium Bridge and Skeldergate Bridge.

And they reacted after it was revealed that, following a second U-turn by the Environment Agency, cyclists and pedestrians ARE set to be banned from the route - although not for as long as previously suggested.

A spokeswoman for York Cycle Campaign told The Press yesterday: "We are disappointed to hear that Terry Avenue will have to be closed to cyclists and pedestrians, but respect that public safety must be prioritised. Both Terry Avenue and the Millennium Bridge are key walk/cycle corridors in York and limited alternative safe route options exist.

“We are keen to work with the agency and council to ensure that a safe, well-lit diversion is put in place and that it is accessible to walkers and cyclists regardless of ability.”

The Environment Agency had said last November that under revised flood defence proposals for Clementhorpe, cyclists and pedestrians would be able to carry on using Terry Avenue, despite original proposals to close access - which had been fiercely opposed.

It said then that the revised scheme was 'great news for the local community and people who use the route to commute to work or use the area for their leisure.'

But yesterday (Monday) it revealed that following a re-assessment, the road will still need to be closed, although for six months less than originally planned.

A spokesman said that due to significant public safety concerns it would not be possible to keep a section of Terry Avenue open, between Skeldergate Bridge and Dukes Wharf, while flood defence work takes place.